Here’s what you missed at TechCrunch Shanghai 2017

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on TechNode, an editorial partner of TechCrunch based in China. This week saw TechCrunch land in Shanghai for yet another great event. While Shenzhen — the site of our previous China show — might be the hardware capital, Shanghai has a potent mix of hungry entrepreneurs from all over the world. We were delighted to welcome back for… Read More

Rubies Are a 3D Printer’s Best Friend

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Watching a 3D printer work always reminds us of watching a baker decorate a cake. Gooey icing squeezes out of a nozzle and makes interesting shapes and designs. While hot plastic doesn’t taste as good as icing, it does flow easily through the printer’s nozzle. Well… normal plastic, anyway. These days, advanced 3D printers are using filament with wood, metal, carbon fiber, and other additives. These can provide impressive results, but the bits of hard material in them tend to wear down metallic nozzles. If this is your problem and you are tired of replacing nozzles, you should check out …read more

Google’s newest app stops you burning through your data package

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Google’s newest app for emerging markets is a service that helps control data usage on a smartphone and get more for your top-up credit. Datally, which is available for Android devices worldwide from today, applies granular control to enable a user to monitor use of data on their phone and cut data usage on any app as they please. The app design is simple and it appears to be effective.… Read More

Rage Against the Dying of the Light with a Raspi Night Vision Camera

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One of the most interesting things about hacking is the difference between the vision we have at the beginning and the reality of we’ve built at the end. What began as a simple plan to build a night vision VR headset turned into a five-month adventure for [facelessloser] that culminated in this great-looking camera. He thought it would be easy, but almost every aspect presented some kind of challenge. The important thing is that he kept at it.

One of the major issues [facelessloser] encountered was power. He found that the Pi (Zero W), the screen, and the IR LEDs …read more

Node.js Crash Course

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Introduction

I’ve been doing Node full-time at work and noticed a lot of other people lacking a centralized resource to get up and running quickly. There are a lot of wonderful resources out there for Node that are only a Google search away, but, hopefully, this document should get you coding quickly and help you to communicate effectively with other Node developers.

I’ve tried to write this list in order of the most important things you need to know. Feel free to skip around.

Google’s new Android app stops other apps from wasting your data

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is launching another stylish and simple Android app designed to help people manage one of the core functions of their phone — in this case, data usage.

The app is called Datally, and it’s supposed to help you understand where you data is going and cut down on how much you’re using. Datally will show which apps are using data the most and at what times your data is getting used up; it’ll also recommend ways to cut down data usage based on your own activity and suggest nearby Wi-Fi networks for you to connect to.

More importantly, there’s a big button at the top of the app that lets you stop all background data usage, so only the app that’s actively onscreen can use mobile data. A chat-head style bubble will also pop up to let you…

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Zigbee-Based Wireless Arduinos, Demystified

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Hackday regular [Akiba] is working on a series of video tutorials guiding newbies into the world of the 802.15.4 wireless protocol stack — also known as ZigBee. So far, his tutorials include a “getting started with chibiArduino”, his own Arduino-based wireless library, as well as a more basic tutorial on how radio works.

[Akiba] already made a name for himself though a large number of wireless projects, including his Saboten sensor boards, which are ruggedized for long-term environmental monitoring. The Saboten boards use the same wireless stack as his Arduino-compatible wireless development boards, his Freakduino products. The latest version features …read more

Now you can talk to Destiny 2’s Ghost with Alexa

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Activision and Bungie have released a new Amazon Alexa skill that taps into Destiny 2 and lets you speak to Ghost, your character’s AI companion. You’ll be able to ask Ghost for tips on what to do in the game or explanations of its lore, as well as issuing commands for things like quickly equipping your most powerful loadouts.

This works through any Alexa-enabled device, like the range of Echo speakers, but Amazon is also selling a Ghost-shaped Wi-Fi speaker that you can speak to directly whether you’re playing on PS4, Xbox One, or PC. You do already have to have a separate Alexa device for the Ghost speaker to work, however.

The Ghost costs $89.98 and will ship on December 19th — and you’ll have to be quick, since it only appears to…

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Amazon adds in-skill purchases to Alexa

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 There was clearly a lot of ground to cover at tonight’s AWS re:Invent Alexa State of the Union — but lets be real, the most important bit was how the company plans to make a little money for its developers. After all, Amazon appears to be raking in the dough, with all of the Alexa devices it’s been selling ahead of the holidays, but what of the lowly developer? The most… Read More

Alexa is arriving in Australia and New Zealand early next year

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 One more bit of news out of tonight’s Alexa State of the Union Keynote at AWS Re:Invent in Vegas. Amazon is finally bringing its voice service to Oceania. After several months of rumblings, the company announced today that Alexa will be arriving in Australia and New Zealand at some unspecified point in early 2018. In the meantime, it’s opening up its tools for developers, in order… Read More

Prismatic Lazy Glasses actually work, pretty much

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I can’t remember quite how I came to be in possession of a pair of these Prismatic Lazy Glasses (Amazon), but the most shocking thing about them is they actually work. You put them on, lie down completely prone, and can see at a 90° angle: perfect for watching TV (or reading) in bed without sitting up or craning one’s neck.

The effect is not perfect. They create tunnel vision, and the imperfect build quality of the glasses and presumably the mirrors results in more eye strain that you’d normally experience. (Though certainly less than I experience with VR)

Whether eye strain wipes out the advantage of bodily relaxation is for you to decide; my only problem is falling asleep during practically everything.

Note that the link here is to a well-reviewed model from Amazon I assume is identical to the pair I have. I can’t imagine there are vast quality differences between different brands of $10 lazy specs, but you never know.

Intellibuoy Keeps Track of the Water

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With world oceans ranging in cleanliness from pretty nasty to OMG, we need to get a handle on what exactly is going on. High School students from Hackensack, NJ built the Intellibuoy, a floating water quality sensor. The buoy has an anemometer and digital rain gauge up top, as well as a LED beacon to comply with maritime regulations.

Flotation is provided by a framework of sealed 3/4″ and 3″ PVC pipes that look strong enough to protect the electronics from a casual boat-bump. High above the water (under ideal conditions) there is the waterproof control box, packing two Arduino …read more

Voyagers: David Pescovitz, Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad nominated for Grammy award

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Boing Boing editor and founding partner David Pescovitz, along with Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, was nominated this week to receive a Grammy Award. It’s for their work on reissuing the legendary Golden Record that accompanied the Voyager probe into space, which turned into one of 2016’s blockbuster Kickstarter campaigns and can now be ordered directly from Ozma records or from Amazon.com.

They’re competing in the Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package category, against Tim Breen, Tom Hingston and other art directors.

What’s on the Golden Record? 115 images, spoken word sections, greetings in many languages, and a heavenly playlist:

Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40
Java, court gamelan, “Kinds of Flowers,” recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43
Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08
Zaire, Pygmy girls’ initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56
Australia, Aborigine songs, “Morning Star” and “Devil Bird,” recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26
Mexico, “El Cascabel,” performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14
“Johnny B. Goode,” written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38
New Guinea, men’s house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20
Japan, shakuhachi, “Tsuru No Sugomori” (“Crane’s Nest,”) performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51
Bach, “Gavotte en rondeaux” from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55
Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55
Georgian S.S.R., chorus, “Tchakrulo,” collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18
Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52
“Melancholy Blues,” performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05
Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48
Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20
Bulgaria, “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin,” sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59
Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57
Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, “The Fairie Round,” performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17
Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12
Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38
China, ch’in, “Flowing Streams,” performed by Kuan P’ing-hu. 7:37
India, raga, “Jaat Kahan Ho,” sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30
“Dark Was the Night,” written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15
Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37

Bungie announces sweeping changes to address Destiny 2 players’ biggest criticisms

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Bungie today announced a large-scale series of changes to the world of Destiny 2 to address fierce criticism from players, many of whom have been voicing concern since the game’s September launch that the developer was either ignoring community feedback or uninterested in changing what fans saw as fundamental flaws to the sci-fi shooter sequel. Some of the changes will go live with the upcoming Curse of the Osiris expansion launching on December 5th, with more to come in a patch the following week. The company also detailed longer-term updates slated for 2018.

Now, certain weapons will once again have “rolls,” or a randomly assigned set of unlockable benefits that make a player’s version of the virtual firearm different and potentially…

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Gesture Keyboard for Universal Input

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Keyboards are currently the most universally accepted computer input devices. They may be wired, wireless, or virtual, but the chances are that you’re within a few centimeters of a keyboard right now. [Federico Terzi] built a prototype from an Arduino and an accelerometer which conceptually resembles writing in Palm’s old Graffiti, though this version is performed in mid-air with a handheld instead of a little square at the bottom of an LCD screen.  He can also operate wirelessly with a Bluetooth module and battery.

The task of the Arduino is to take data from the accelerometer and feed it to …read more

12 of the best baby tech gifts for the little ones in your life

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 This baby tech gift guide is a new one for TechCrunch’s annual gift list but one that’s been on my mind for a little while now. Lately, I’ve been inundated with ads, tips, lists and articles of my own on items for baby in this modern tech age… so, I’ve scanned through it all, compiled a list of the top tech and wrapped it up just for you and your little ones. Read More

Sci-fi short film – “Orbit Ever After”

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Dust is a YouTube channel featuring science fiction short films from emerging filmmakers. Its latest film is called “Orbit Ever After.”

Directed by Jamie Magnus Stone and set in the recesses of space on a ramshackle space hovel, Orbit Ever After details the trials of Nigel played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, Love Actually, Phinneas and Ferb, Maze Runner) and The Girl, two star-crossed lovers separated by miles of distance, oppositional orbit patterns and Nigel’s risk-averse family.

After several fly bys, waves and glances through telescopes, The Girl finally gets a message to Nigel asking him to take a literal leap of faith and make the jump to her spacecraft during the next passing, leaving Nigel to make the ultimate decision between love and family…

Friday Hack Chat: Reverse Engineering the Digital Compact Cassette

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For this week’s Hack Chat, we’re talking about reverse engineering the Digital Compact Cassette. Why should we care about an obsolete format that was only on the market for four years?  Because if a copy of the Spin Doctor’s Pocket Full of Kryptonite costs $50 USD on the used market, it has to be good.

In the early 1990s, several different digital magnetic tape formats came onto the scene. The MiniDisc was magneto-optical, yes, but back in the day it was amazing for recording bootlegs. DAT also appeared in the early 90s, and it was a godsend for recording studios. …read more

Stories are coming to YouTube next

See the original posting on The Verge

YouTube is testing a new feature called “Reels” that, at least in concept, will be similar to the Stories you see every day on Snapchat and Instagram. According to TechCrunch, Reels will be given their own tab — separate from a creator’s main list of videos. YouTube’s reasoning for introducing them is not unlike what we’ve heard from Snap and Instagram: people want a way to share content without having to go the full mile and publish a traditional YouTube video. Reels are being tested among a small group of the site’s creators, and the company isn’t yet saying when this “new format” will be more widely rolled out.

YouTube is diverging from the typical Stories formula in several ways. Most notably, Reels won’t disappear after 24 hours or…

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